Culture and Society
Civil society in Pakistan is largely hierarchical, emphasizing local cultural etiquette and traditional Islamic values that govern personal and political life. The basic family unit is the extended family, although for socio-economic reasons there has been a growing trend towards nuclear families. The traditional dress for both men and women is the Shalwar Kameez; trousers, jeans, and shirts are also popular among men. In recent decades, the middle class has increased to around 35 million and the upper and upper-middle classes to around 17 million, and power is shifting from rural landowners to the urbanized elites. Pakistani festivals, including Eid-ul-Fitr, Eid-ul-Azha, Ramazan, Christmas, Easter, Holi, and Diwali, are mostly religious in origin. Increasing globalization has resulted in Pakistan ranking 56th on the A.T.
More than sixty languages are spoken in Pakistan, including a number of provincial languages. Urdu—the lingua franca and a symbol of Muslim identity and national unity—is the national language understood by over 75% of Pakistanis. It is the main medium of communication in the country but the primary language of only 8% of Pakistan’s population. Urdu and English are the official languages of Pakistan, with English primarily used in official business and government, and in legal contracts; the local variety is known as Pakistani English. The Punjabi language, the most common in Pakistan and the first language of 44.2% of Pakistan’s population, is mostly spoken in Punjab. Saraiki, mainly spoken in South Punjab and Hindko, is predominant in the Hazara region of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Pashto is the provincial language of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and is well understood in Sindh and Balochistan. The Sindhi language is commonly spoken in Sindh while the Balochi language is dominant in Balochistan. Brahui, a Dravidian language, is spoken by the Brahui people who live in Balochistan. Gujarati community leaders in Pakistan claim that there are 3 million Gujarati speakers in Karachi. Marwari, a Rajasthani language, is also spoken in parts of Sindh. Various languages such as Shina, Balti, and Burushaski are spoken in Gilgit-Baltistan, whilst languages such as Pahari, Gojri, and Kashmiri are spoken by many in Azad Kashmir.
The Arabic language is officially recognized by the constitution of Pakistan. It declares in article 31 No. 2 that “The State shall endeavor, as respects the Muslims of Pakistan (a) to make the teaching of the Holy Quran and Islamiat compulsory, to encourage and facilitate the learning of Arabic language …”
The state religion in Pakistan is Sunni Islam. Freedom of religion is guaranteed by the Constitution of Pakistan, which provides all its citizens the right to profess, practice and propagate their religion subject to law, public order, and morality.
The population of Pakistan follows different religions. Most Pakistanis are Muslims (96.0%) followed by Hindus (1.85%) and Christians (1.5%). There are also people in Pakistan who follow other religions, such as Sikhism, Buddhism, Jainism and the minority of Parsi (who follow Zoroastrianism).
In addition, some Pakistanis also do not profess any faith (such as atheists and agnostics) in Pakistan. According to the 1998 census, people who did not state their religion accounted for 0.5% of the population.
Literature and philosophy
Pakistan has literature in Urdu, Sindhi, Punjabi, Pashto, Baluchi, Persian, English, and many other languages. The Pakistan Academy of Letters is a large literary community that promotes literature and poetry in Pakistan and abroad. The National Library publishes and promotes literature in the country. Before the 19th century, Pakistani literature consisted mainly of lyric and religious poetry and mystical and folkloric works. During the colonial period, native literary figures were influenced by western literary realism and took up increasingly varied topics and narrative forms. Prose fiction is now very popular.
The national poet of Pakistan, Muhammad Iqbal, wrote poetry in Urdu and Persian. He was a strong proponent of the political and spiritual revival of Islamic civilization and encouraged Muslims all over the world to bring about a successful revolution.[clarification needed] Well-known figures in contemporary Pakistani Urdu literature include Josh Malihabadi Faiz Ahmed Faiz and Saadat Hasan Manto. Sadequain and Gulgee are known for their calligraphy and paintings. The Sufi poets Shah Abdul Latif, Bulleh Shah, Mian Muhammad Bakhsh, and Khawaja Farid enjoy considerable popularity in Pakistan. Mirza Kalich Beg has been termed the father of modern Sindhi prose. Historically, philosophical development in the country was dominated by Muhammad Iqbal, Sir Syed, Muhammad Asad, Maududi, and Mohammad Ali Johar.
Ideas from British and American philosophy greatly shaped philosophical development in Pakistan. Analysts such as M. M. Sharif and Zafar Hassan established the first major Pakistani philosophical movement in 1947.[clarification needed After the 1971 war, philosophers such as Jalaluddin Abdur Rahim, Gianchandani, and Malik Khalid incorporated Marxism into Pakistan’s philosophical thinking. Influential work by Manzoor Ahmad, Jon Elia, Hasan Askari Rizvi, and Abdul Khaliq brought mainstream social, political, and analytical philosophy to the fore in academia. Works by Noam Chomsky have influenced philosophical ideas in various fields of social and political philosophy.
Four periods are recognized in Pakistani architecture: pre-Islamic, Islamic, colonial, and post-colonial. With the beginning of the Indus civilization around the middle of the 3rd millennium BCE, an advanced urban culture developed for the first time in the region, with large buildings, some of which survive to this day. Mohenjo Daro, Harappa, and Kot Diji are among the pre-Islamic settlements that are now tourist attractions. The rise of Buddhism and the influence of Greek civilization led to the development of a Greco-Buddhist style, starting from the 1st century CE. The high point of this era was the Gandhara style. An example of Buddhist architecture is the ruins of the Buddhist monastery Takht-i-Bahi in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.
The arrival of Islam in what is today Pakistan meant the sudden end of Buddhist architecture in the area and a smooth transition to the predominantly pictureless Islamic architecture. The most important Indo-Islamic-style building still standing is the tomb of the Shah Rukn-i-Alam in Multan. During the Mughal era, design elements of Persian-Islamic architecture were fused with and often produced playful forms of Hindustani art. Lahore, as the occasional residence of Mughal rulers, contains many important buildings from the empire. Most prominent among them is the Badshahi Mosque, the fortress of Lahore with the famous Alamgiri Gate, the colorful, Mughal-style Wazir Khan Mosque, the Shalimar Gardens in Lahore, and the Shahjahan Mosque in Thatta. In the British colonial period, predominantly functional buildings of the Indo-European representative style developed from a mixture of European and Indian-Islamic components. Post-colonial national identity is expressed in modern structures such as the Faisal Mosque, the Minar-e-Pakistan, and the Mazar-e-Quaid. Several examples of architectural infrastructure demonstrating the influence of British design can be found in Lahore, Peshawar, and Karachi.
Most sports played in Pakistan originated and were substantially developed by athletes and sports fans from the United Kingdom who introduced them during the British Raj. Field hockey is the national sport of Pakistan; it has won three gold medals in the Olympic Games held in 1960, 1968, and 1984. Pakistan has also won the Hockey World Cup a record four times, held in 1971, 1978, 1982, and 1994.
Cricket, however, is the most popular game across the country. The country has had an array of success in the sport over the years and has the distinct achievement of having won each of the major ICC international cricket tournaments: ICC Cricket World Cup, ICC World Twenty20, and ICC Champions Trophy; as well as the ICC Test Championship. The cricket team (known as Shaheen) won the Cricket World Cup held in 1992; it was runner-up once, in 1999. Pakistan was runner-up in the inaugural World Twenty20 (2007) in South Africa and won the World Twenty20 in England in 2009. Pakistan also won the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy by defeating arch-rivals India in the final.
Association Football is the second most played sports in Pakistan and it is organized and regulated by the Pakistan Football Federation. Football in Pakistan is as old as the country itself. Shortly after the creation of Pakistan in 1947, the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) was created, and Muhammad Ali Jinnah became its first Patron-in-Chief. The highest football division in Pakistan is the Pakistan Premier League. Pakistan is known as one of the best manufacturers of the official FIFA World Cup ball. The best football players to play for Pakistan are Kaleemullah, Zesh Rehman, Muhammad Essa, Haroon Yousaf, and Muhammad Adil.
Pakistan has hosted or co-hosted several international sporting events: the 1989 and 2004 South Asian Games; 1984, 1993, 1996 and 2003 World Squash Championships; the 1987 and 1996 Cricket World Cup; and the 1990 Hockey World Cup.